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Vegan Eats, Sunsets, Cradle Mountain and one Alpaca

In all honesty, I could probably write 2 or 3 more posts on this Tasmania adventure. However, I feel that people might liken it to a vacation slideshow, ya know? Like I tell you every detail of our vacation and you sit there reading my endless rambles, but really only wanting to look at a couple pictures here and there. Cause that’s all anyone really wants, right? The pictures? And not EVERY picture, (organized chronologically and explained in length by your truly…) No, you want a highly edited photo journal of just the highlights and best moments. Maybe with a point form note here or there. I understand. No offense taken.

I will spare you any further sneezing escapades and just get down to the good stuff. The good stuff being: Wombats.

But first… Melbourne!

Sean and I at half price cocktail hour!

Hostel bar...

Then on to dinner. Melbourne has the best selection of vegetarian food I’ve ever seen.

the vegie bar...

and the best Vegan food I have ever tasted. Eva.

all vegan, all awesome

So much deliciousness.

Next up: Jazz bar in an alley!

jazz... only it was contemporary... not really our scene.

The next day, the Spirit of Tasmania awaited us.

cabin and sunsets!

We had a great time getting used to our sea legs… and then I went mental on out of focus sunset shots. Cause the colours were pretty.


Once in Tasmania, first stop was Cradle Mountain. but before we got there… we found a random man with a lovely lama. Or was it an Alpaca?

Once at Cradle Mountain, we opted out of camping and into a delightful little cabin smack dab in the middle of the national park.

Waldheim Cabins

Wildlife everywhere!

how is this NOT adorable! Love.


On the second day, Sean and I conquered Cradle Mountain. Ha-mazing.


After Cradle… well there is more to come, but I’m sorry. After spending the better half of two days editing down images and still having about 60 odd that I wanted to post… well I’ll have to split it into two. But I promise that’s it!


See ya soon!



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riding sand dunes and hugging kangaroos

Why is it that the more time you have… the less you get done. Is that a law? Like Murphy’s law? Or Newton’s law? Are those things?

I’m calling this Caitlin’s Law. You see, it seems that I need to be extremely busy in order to get things done. Normal things. Like grocery shopping, and altering clothes, and doing laundry. All of which I can get done IF I have no time at all to do them. NONE of which will get done if I’m on ‘vacation.’ It’s Caitlin’s Law. I’m just being real with you.

Anyway, blogging has fallen into that category of things that don’t get done when I have an inordinate amount of time. But now, well NOW things are picking up, and so naturally, this fits quite nicely into my tight schedule this week.

I suppose I’m a creature of routine. I need structure and boundaries and time tables and lists in order to function. Take it all away and I’m completely lost. I get up at 8am, which seems early enough, but I struggle to leave the house before 11. Who takes 3 hours to eat a smoothie and shower?

I guess that’s just real life. I don’t know what else to tell you.

In any case, I’m here to update you with pictures from the last couple weeks. Get ready, cause things are about to shift from 0 to AWESOME.

My parents rented a wee car and we went on a good old fashioned roadtrip for a couple days. I researched some very exciting things that I then forced them to do with me.

For example: Walking to Stockton Beach to see the Largest moving sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere. Apparently the sand dunes move about 4m north every year! WHAT?!

The walk there was actually more of a hike, and mostly flat. Kinda. It was also very hot that day… it was truly like the Sahara. I swear.

Stockton Beach

After a night in Port Macquarie, we ventured to Byron Beach. Hippie Capital of Australia. Absolutely no one wears shoes… or a shirt… but it issss beautiful…


I ran up to the lighthouse in the pouring rain, and came upon this young Wallaby. Uh-mazing.

the lighthouse run

Next we wrote some postcards in which I detailed my life in red and blue ink. Mostly about how I was going to find some kangaroos to hug.


And true to my word… I DID find them.

At a wildlife sanctuary that I demanded we visit.



joey joey joey


kanga AND roo!

Seriously. Kangaroos are the coolest EVER. Emus… not so much.


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Vegan Feta Cheese-ish


Second post in two days. Is your mind blown? Cause mine is.

I just wanted to keep my promise. The promise of a recipe for this non-dairy cheese-like baked delicious thing. I’m sure most, if not all of you, will pass this off as another ridiculous vegan recipe that will taste nothing like it’s dairy counterpart. But I’m telling ya, even if this doesn’t taste exactly like feta… which it doesn’t, really… it DOES taste exactly like something delicious. So you should go make it. Like… now. Also, the ingredient list is short and very obtainable. Make it happen.


I got this recipe off another blog, linked below, but I will relay the ingredient list to you now.

Vegan Feta-cheese from Maple Spice

1 1/2 c. ground almonds

1/4 c. lemon juice

1/2 cup water

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/4 tsp salt

Toss it all in a blender and blend it up. Then, wrap the contents in 3 layers of cheese cloth and tie the top. Let it sit over night in a sieve, over a bowl. I did this step and nothing actually drained out. However, I used a  tea towel since I didn’t have cheese cloth… and it seemed to soak up a lot of moisture.

Next unwrap the cheese and baked it in an oven-safe dish for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chill. (The cheese, but you can chill too.)


Delicious on crackers with red pepper jelly.




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hellllllllllllllllllllllllllooo two-thousand twelve


I’m Caitlin Hicks. You may remember me from such blog posts as “Christmas Eve in North Sydney” and “GAZPACHO!” Those posts were sooo 2011… and I’ve got news for you. It’s 2012.


Sydney harbour Bridge 2012

What? When? WHO?! oh my god. This just got real.

I’ve got a lot to cover, as I’ve been somewhat MIA as of late. Let’s start with the basics…

Christmas ’twas lovely. A leisurely morning of coffee and presents with my boyfriend,

coffee and ukuleles.

followed by the most cocktail filled, antipasto-delicious, summery Christmas brunch I have ever experienced.

anti-pasto lunch

Crazy Straws and White Sangria? Yes. Yes I think so.


This crazy straw makes an appearance later on… cause let’s be serious. Is there a better way to sip fancy alcoholic drinks than through a twisty twirly straw? Don’t answer that… cause there is NO better way. Fact.

Christmas was followed by boxing day, more food, more lovely people… more lovely weather.

Boxing Day was followed by ‘My parents arrive in SYDNEY day’ Also known as December 27th, 2011. Even more lovely people, mediocre weather…

My parents arrived in SYDNEY day was followed by ‘Breakfast and impromptu pub crawl day.’


There was coffee, there was toast, there was one pub, and then there were three more. I had one cider. A schooner. I wassssssss drunk. Not a joke. Still not sure what happened.

black and white images make us classier, no?

That day was then followed by a slew of days that ended a wonderful year. 2011… where did you go?


I rang in the new year with… MORE Antipasto, more cocktails and an enormous amount of fireworks. Hallllelujah.


There were rice paper rolls, there were dips, there were vegan cheeses (recipe to follow) and there was a punch bowl of PIMMS. Pretty much the best drink you’ll ever have. I do declare.

vegan cheese! (ish)

Happy New Year everyone. Two-thousand and Twelve greets me with no job, but some wonderful company and exciting prospects.

rooftop fireworks

Things are just getting interesting.

I’m declaring it the best year ever. Deal with it.


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Baking and Beaches…

There is nothing cuter than miniature foods. I mean really. Miniature cookies, miniature burgers, miniature cupcakes. I’m not sure if I love them because they’re so darn small and adorable, or if it’s because they make me feel like a giant and I get to devour them in just one bite. Either way, I’m pretty sure that foods taste better in smaller sizes. Actually I’m going to make a sweeping declaration here and say that they do. For sure. It’s science.

And with that, I bring you more mini-cupcakes.


These cupcakes were crazy delish. I’ve made them before just never in mini-form. Anyway, they were very moist, very vanilla-y, very fluffy and the entire cupcake tasted incredibly buttery. Not sure how that works, as these are vegan. But I won’t argue with the masses. I took these to work for the very sweet, very pregnant English bird going on maternity leave and after eating one, or two, or three each, we shared them with the rest of the office. I left for a couple minutes and when I returned they were gone. 🙂

Without further ado, I will share with you the recipe that I only slightly tweaked from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World. Possibly the best cupcake book ever created, vegan or not.

Vanilla Cupcakes

1 c. oat milk

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 c. flour

2 tbsp. arrow-root powder

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. margarine

3/4 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan.

Whisk the oat milk and vinegar together and set aside.

Sift the flour, arrow-root powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Cream the margarine and sugar for two minutes until it is light and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla. Add the soy milk mixture.

Beat the dry mixture into the wet. Fill the muffin cups up 2/3rds of the way and bake for 20-22 minutes.

Eat many.

In other news, this past weekend was jam packed with hot summer-y days and incredible beach-y afternoons. I narrowly escaped a Steve Irwin-like death, thanks to my keen eyed Canadian friend who spotted a sting ray as I was galloping into the water. No big deal.

So what if Sean laughed at us upon hearing our tale of near death, so what if that sting ray wasn’t large enough or fierce enough to take my life, SO WHAT if Sean’s stepped on sting rays before with no harmful effects… I still think we’re smart for avoiding the shallow waters.


We followed Sean on a small hike up some rocks to find the perfect place for an afternoon swim. After much consideration and debate we climbed down the rocks and into the jelly-fish infested waters. Apparently the see through ones don’t sting you. I’m learning so much… and slowly getting over my fears of deep sea creatures. Although, that seaweed the brushes past my legs freaks me out EVERY TIME. idiot.

After fully submerging ourselves in the clear blue waters, Sean casually pointed out which jellyfish that would sting us, if given the opportunity, and so as Samantha clambered for the rocks… I peed my swimmers, only slightly.


I kid. We were totally cool. Because of course we know that those jellys only move with the wind, so if we kept tabs on the wind direction and stayed aware… we’d be fine. Never mind that their tentacles range from 15 cm to 10 meters. pft… That doesn’t scare me. At all.

Oh my god. It terrifies me. But I have to admit, you can’t say no to the ocean. It’s nearly impossible, even if it’s salty waters sneak into my nose and ears. There is nothing like swimming out in that warm water. It was incredibly comfortable… nothing like swimming in those crisp Canadian lakes. (which I still love and miss.)

We paddled around for quite a while and after gracefully climbing back up the rocks like the mermaids and mermen that we are, we dried off and cracked into the beer and chocolate. All class.

summer beer

It was so lovely and relaxing that I completely forgot it was Sunday.


party boy!


Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cupcakes

Wine and kayaks and sunscreen and rope swings…

So… the thing about writing a blog that revolves around my own baking adventures is that if I don’t bake new things… I have nothing to write about. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been baking. Just nothing new. I’ve been addicted to granola and chickpea cookie dough for the past two weeks. I promise this weekend I’ll bake something great. I mean there is a woman at work going on Maternity leave… and that occasion just screams for baked goods, no?

In other, non-baking news, I took a wee trip up the coast with some friends for a little rest and relaxation. We sipped wine, we sat by pools, we kayaked and we even applied sunscreen. Jealous?

Conan... BANG!

These are the friends...

We took a wee drive to the Hunter Valley for some delightful wine tasting…

this is some wine

There was sparkling reds and sparkling whites…

This is the how classy we are

There was a woman who sat with us and explained each wine as she poured me generous tastings. She took a liking to Sean. She touched him one too many times on jaw, attempting to explain taste sensations on your palate. Had it not been for the nineteen glasses of wine she poured me, I would have clocked her. Definitely.

This is when I used Shane as a fake model for my real Cowboy picture...

Some more wine and cheese...

REPRESENT! Brup Brup (gunshots) (cause we were in Scarborough) (duh)

Beer tastings...

Sadly, I don’t really have any pictures that don’t involve drinking wine. But trust me… there was fun in the sun, bikinis, rope swings, kayaks… and a Magpie that attempted to peck out my eyes. twice. Scariest birds ever.

Here’s to many more weekends like this one. Minus the Magpie.



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Give Thanks.

I am thankful for friends. This is my jazzy friend. You can call her Samantha. Because that is her name.

jazzy lady

She is pretty cool. No joke.

Sam is pictured here with a turkey. She is massaging it in a very sensual way. Why you ask? Well, it is Candian Thanksgiving of course! And what better way to spend a Sunday than massaging a turkey with butter and herbs?

Sam arrived in Sydney JUST in time to join me for some patriotic celebrating in the form of eating rich food and drinking good wine. and beer. and cider.

I am thankful for cider.

We had big plans for the weekend and so we spent Saturday sussing out Sydney’s finest farmer’s market and purchasing all the best vegetables from a lovely man who then gave us some garlic for free. What. a. guy.

I am thankful for free garlic.

After spending our pennies on delicious produce, we spent Sunday attempting to recreate all of our Mother’s finest thanksgiving feasts.

It was not an easy task. We didn’t really have any recipes… but we knew that we needed: a bird,

mashed potatoes,

mased potatoes!

roast vegetables,

ummm... delicious

stuffing and pie.

pumpkin pie

OH and cranberry sauce. Can’t forget the cranberry sauce.

I am thankful for cranberry sauce. and pie.

The mashed potatoes and vegetables were a cinch. And Sam took care of the bird as I know not how to even handle meat. I suppose thats what happens when you grow up a vegetarian. However, I did sprinkle the pepper and salt over top of it since Sam made the pepper grinder explode with a strength that she didn’t even know she had. It was this strength that gave our vegetables a spicy kick (from the unrecoverable peppercorns).

Stuffing, however, was a bit tricky. But we pulled it together in the nick of time.

the australian fam.

We’re are pretty much Anna and Kristina. And if you don’t get that reference… you are probably not Canadian. That, or you don’t watch Oprah’s new television network.

I am thankful for Oprah. (But don’t tell anyone.)

Anyhoo, the house totally smelled like Thanksgiving, which I think is a win. The whole meal was delicious and I think we would have done our Mother’s proud had they been able to partake in the feast. The boys definitly enjoyed it. The only quesitonable part was our decor. We didn’t have as much time as anticipated to gather harvest-like centerpieces… but I’d say we compensated well. carrots? pomegranate? free garlic? a scented candle and a jar of maple syrup? perfect.

And while these little guys weren’t for Thanksgiving, I think they are worth mentioning. Mini-Apple pies made to woo and persuade. 😉 Yum.


All in all, a delightful weekend.

…and I am thankful for this guy too.


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